Stop Procrastinating - Lack of Motivation

Procrastination has several possible triggers and it can be difficult to isolate the main cause in each case. It is also possible to confuse procrastination with a general lack of motivation and they are to some extent intertwined and mutually reinforcing. A lack of motivation for your work will encourage you to find reasons not to do it and this in turn leads to guilt and stress, which further undermine your motivation.

Procrastination and Lack of Motivation

It may be impossible to determine which is the cause and which is the effect. Are you demotivated because you are a chronic procrastinator or are you procrastinating because you are demotivated?

In either case, procrastination will cast a shadow over your working day that will make it disagreeable and unfulfilling. In the longer term you will find that it damages your reputation as a productive worker and it can eventually lead to chronic depression. Motivation is a complex topic and is difficult to measure because it is entirely subjective. Procrastination on the other hand is easy to identify because it is always specific to a particular task and because it manifests itself as an inability to begin it or progress it.

Procrastination and motivation

Consequently, your best course of action is to tackle each case of procrastination as it happens, as this is much easier than trying to increase something as nebulous as personal motivation. It is also likely that if you overcome your tendency to procrastinate then your personal motivation will improve as a direct result anyway.

Even though advice on how to increase your own personal motivation is beyond the scope of this eBook, there is one piece of advice that can help and is very easy to implement.

All of us have a conscious thought process which 'speaks to us' throughout the day. We do have control over it in as much as we can consciously influence it, but it also has a tendency to 'do its own thing' if we don't actively try to direct it.

Most of the motivational programs that have been developed involve re-educating this inner voice to be wholly positive. Whilst this does undoubtedly help, it is a lot of work because it takes a lot of practice to re-train it.

A much simpler tactic is to make yourself consciously aware of it particularly when it becomes overly negative. For example, you may find yourself thinking about a specific task in the following way:

Negative thoughts and procrastination

These are just a few examples of negative task-specific thoughts, but you can probably come up with many others of your own.

The more you actively recognize and acknowledge that you have these thoughts, the less power they will have over you. You don't really need to explicitly challenge them because most of their influence on you derives from the fact that they have a propensity to multiply, reinforce each other, and seep unnoticed into your subconscious.

The effect of this over time is to lower your overall motivation and therefore increase your tendency to procrastinate. However, by actively admitting that these thoughts are occurring to you, you will rob them of most of their power.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to appreciate how difficult it is to overcome the habit of procrastination. The act of putting off something difficult and doing something more enjoyable instead will always provide an immediate reward.

Remember, though, you will only succeed by tackling the problem one task at a time. Our Overcoming Procrastination eBook is designed to help you understand the problem better and learn some successful ways of dealing with it.

You may also be interested in:
Stop Procrastinating | Symptoms of Procrastination | Why People Procrastinate | Dealing with Boring or Pointless Tasks | Dealing With Tasks Involving Confrontation | Tasks You Resent Being Given | Tasks That Appear Overwhelming | Tasks You Don't Know How to Begin | Tasks You Are Afraid of Completing.

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